Creating Purpose for Your Team

Support Employees by Creating Purpose

Are your employees focused at work? Are they excited to arrive each day and discuss future projects with interest? 

Image of angry worker

If not, your organization may be lacking clear purpose for employee work. Without a clear purpose, employees can begin to question why the work they do matters and lose focus and motivation. Establishing a clear purpose and relating it to the work they do and goals they are pursuing will help your staff focus and find value in the day-to-day. Establishing that big-picture purpose that “help employees connect what they are doing to the impact they are having in a way that helps them see how they are changing the organization, the community and the world” [1] will pay off in big ways such increased employee retention and increased productivity and focus. [2] 

When establishing your team or company purpose, start by evaluating your team – what do they value and appreciate? Are they looking to improve their skills and ability, do they seek a sense of altruism and that what they do benefits society, or are they looking for balance between their work and home life? Whatever the motivator, tap into that and ensure you remind them regularly that each staff member has a role to play in ensuring company success.

Here are three questions to ask yourself when developing your purpose and value statement:

    1. What does the team/organization do?
    2. Why do they do it?
    3. Who does it help?
    4. How does each team member contribute?
    5. How does contributing help the team?
    6. If you succeed, what will be the result? Who benefits? How and Why?
    7. What happens if a team member does not complete their assigned work? (You can also ask your staff to develop this response as part of a team building. Some very humorous scenarios can unfold, and it can be enlightening for other team members to see just how much is contingent upon each team member doing their part.)

For an employee, it can be easy to lose sight of how they bring value. Especially if they are several layers removed from the service or product being delivered by the company. Post your purpose and value statement in a visible place, reiterate both on a regular basis, and ask your team to highlight how each contributes to the team reaching its goal. Try a call-and-reply exercise, where the team gets together in person or virtual and you ask each to explain how the other contributes to the team, the purpose, and achieving the goal. [3]

Once you feel you have built a strong culture within your team, remember to recognize the wins. Each time, small or large, when team member completes a critical task or helps the team reach a goal, remember to celebrate. Make it visual – just like sales personnel ring – staff what to recognize accomplishments and doing so in a team setting, grows the team culture.

Whatever your organization’s or team’s purpose ensure it has a clear value statement that taps into the contributions of each team member and the unique work that each performs. Consider each members’ value statement – what motivates them to come to work each day – and remind them of how the work helps them accomplish their personal goals as well as the organization or teams’.

[1] https://medium.com/jacob-morgan/creating-a-sense-of-purpose-in-the-workplace-50aa77e29204

[2] https://minutehack.com/guides/purpose-at-work-how-to-create-meaning-to-motivate-your-team

[3] https://www.fastcompany.com/40513648/4-ways-to-help-employees-find-meaning-at-work


Image of ad for a downloadable flyer

TIP: Download this handy flyer from Women in Standards – keep it at your desk as a reminder to continue building value for team and teammates. “4 Steps to Creating Value for Employees

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